Thirteen ocean creatures have surfaced all around Bristol’s BS5 postcode, snapped by some of the world’s very best wildlife photographers. To prove how turtle-y awesome they all are, we’ve created blogs on all of the featured species, sharing ten epic facts about them! Sail your way around the exhibition by downloading your very own map and guide.
1) Outside of its natural range, the lionfish is a very invasive species with none or very few natural predators.
2) The lionfish has an array of up to 18 needle-like dorsal fins filled with venom, used to ward off would-be predators.
3) It is an ambush hunter and relies on camouflage and lightning-fast reflexes to capture its prey, which are mainly fish and shrimp.
4) Lionfish will occasionally spread out their fins and herd small prey fish into confined spaces, almost like a sheepdog herding sheep, which makes it much easier to catch them.
5) As they are so invasive in non-native areas and a plague coral reefs, SCUBA divers and chefs are introducing lionfish to restaurant menus across the Americas, in the hope we can eat our way to conservation! Apparently they’re delicious, but mind the spines!
6) A single female can release 30,000 eggs every 4 days in the right conditions -that’s 2 million eggs per year!
7) On heavily invaded sites, lionfish have reduced native fish populations by up to 90%.
8) A lionfish’s stomach can expand up to 30 times its normal volume. An expensive dinner guest!
9) The largest recorded lionfish to date measured nearly 50cm in length.
10) Lionfish have been visually confirmed at a depth of 305m (1000ft), showing that they’re not too fussy where they live so long as there’s a meal to be had!